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Situational awareness: Facebook and Twitter each took down posts from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro with coronavirus misinformation yesterday.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
The coronavirus is providing cover to autocrats, dictators, and even some democratically-elected leaders who were already looking for reasons to undermine the independent media.
Driving the news: Recent examples show the press is being shut out by the government under the guise of stopping misinformation from spreading about the pandemic.
The big picture: Around the world, press freedoms have already been begun to erode as leaders try to crack down on independent media as a way to consolidate power.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The coronavirus is forcing major media giants to leverage layoffs and pay cuts in order to survive the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on their businesses, Axios' Ursula Perano and I write.
Why it matters: In the first few weeks of the outbreak in the U.S., local outlets were sounding the alarm over lost advertising revenue from shuttered local businesses. As the crisis continues, big national media companies say they are bracing for the worst.
Driving the news: Gannett, Maven Media, Disney, BuzzFeed, Vice Media, GroupNine, iHeartMedia and others have announced rounds of layoffs, cuts to salaries and benefits, or that top executives are forgoing pay in the coming weeks.
The big picture: While the recently-passed $2 trillion stimulus bill will provide relief to some news businesses, many in the news industry argue that it's not enough.
For now, relief for the news industry has largely come from the private sector.
The bottom line: The coronavirus is upending the news industry at a time when consumers need access to verified news and information more than ever before.
McClatchy will put its paywall back up around some coronavirus news as it aims to balance its duty keep people informed with its need to bolster subscriptions, executives tell Axios.
Why it matters: The company is trying to be strategic about how much they allow to be free. While it's important that some information remains free, like breaking news that could impact the health and safety of their readers, they don't want that free information to cannibalize a surge in subscription interest.
By the numbers: In a memo to staff, Roberts says that while subscriptions are rising, "the money we get every time someone reads or watches an individual story (“programmatic” revenue) is declining, rapidly -- that per-view rate of revenue has dropped more than 15% in a single week."
Be smart: McClatchy's news division has experienced consolidation over the past few years, and has been very disciplined about operating expenses. For now, the news division seems stable despite the crises unfolding around it within the news industry and despite the company's recent history filing for bankruptcy.
With almost all U.S. states closing schools until at least the end of the month, most children ages 6-12 say they are spending at least 50% more time in front of screens daily, according to new data from SuperAwesome, a kids technology company.
Why it matters: Parents were already struggling to limit screen time for kids when they were in school.
Driving the news: In the U.S., a majority of 6-12 year-olds say they use screen devices either a lot more (at least 50% more), twice as much, or for what feels like "most of the day" during the coronavirus pandemic.
Details: Traffic to kids apps and digital services has increased by nearly 70% in the U.S., per the report.
Be smart: It's easy for parents to blame phones and tablets for an increase in digital engagement, but most kids say they are spending more time watching TV than anything else.
Analysts expect overall global ad revenue to be down roughly 4.4% for 2020 because of coronavirus, excluding cyclical events like the election.
Why it matters: Global advertising revenue tends to grow at roughly the same rate as GDP, so any global economic slowdown is likely to depress the advertising market. Big tech giants are expected to take the brunt of that loss, as they are the biggest entities in the global ad economy.
By the numbers: Analysts at Cowen & Co., an investment management and banking company, predict the following losses:
The big picture: Traditional media advertising, like TV and print, on a full year basis will go down by about 15% if you exclude cyclical events. But digital media advertising will grow slightly, by about 3.5%.
Be smart: Advertising on social media and search, which is how the dominant tech platforms make their money, is expected to take a big hit in the short term for two reasons:
What's next: Growth in the ad market, and particularly in the digital ad market dominated by companies like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Snapchat, is expected to come back strong in 2021.
From barbers to pastors to fitness instructors, any person that used to make money via brick and mortar services, is now turning to online platforms to make money for their expertise.
Driving the news: Patreon says that 30,000+ creators signed up for its service in the first three weeks of March. That's paired with a surge in people willing to pay.
The big picture: Other creative platforms are seeing a major uptick in sign-ups. TikTok has reportedly seen a surge in U.S. downloads in response to the crisis.
What's next: Once consumers get used to accessing services digitally, these services may find it hard to go back to completely go back traditional operations.
Complex Networks, a lifestyle and entertainment media company, is creating an end-to-end digital advertising consultancy that provides publishing clients with a suite of services to make more digital revenue, executives tell Axios.
Why it matters: Catalyst, as it will be called, is the company's second in-house consultancy. It launched a product development services business last year called Climate.
How it works: Catalyst will work with publishers to improve how they manage and monetize their ad inventory, which includes leveraging Complex Networks' 50+ partnerships with select ad vendors, products and and agencies.
By the numbers: Executives say the company currently works with more than 45 publishers and 50 ad vendors, ranging from product developers, ad agencies, tech platforms, demand partners, ad exchanges and verification vendors data providers — each with their own negotiated terms at the benefit of the publishers it services. Pricing varies based on each publisher's needs.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Here are the top trending “how to…” searches on Google in the past week in the U.S., via Google Trends:
In case you were wondering ... "How to make toilet paper” spiked +1,300% in the past week in the U.S.